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HOT! AirBNB opportunities due to rampant deception?

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MTF

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I've seen so many shitty Airbnbs recently and had so many bad experiences that I'm almost tempted to enter the business myself. I just can't believe how crooked some hosts are, hiding stuff which any guest will notice right after checking in. What do they expect? That people who come won't get angry when they realize they were scammed?
 
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I've seen so many shitty Airbnbs recently and had so many bad experiences that I'm almost tempted to enter the business myself. I just can't believe how crooked some hosts are, hiding stuff which any guest will notice right after checking in. What do they expect? That people who come won't get angry when they realize they were scammed?

What was hidden? Lets hear it!
 

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What was hidden? Lets hear it!

1. How about a small industrial cow farm right across the street? It smells like shit all day long so you can't spend time in the garden and even the car quickly starts smelling like shit if you enter the property with your windows rolled down. I'm not even mentioning the fact I'm vegan and how ironic it is that I'm forced to see, smell, and hear this.

The animals, including chickens, make loud noises starting early morning which is killing my girlfriend who's not an early riser.

The host also took pictures in such a way to hide that their house is right in front of the small house they're renting. So the listing indicates it's private but it's not because the moment you step out they can see you (or even look into the house if they're passing by).

When I told this to my Spanish teacher (who is from the Canary Islands where we currently are) she said it was "logical" to hide it because otherwise they wouldn't be able to rent it. The mentality here seems to be "let's see who we can scam while getting away with it." Because of course nobody will complain once they're here since you can't get your money back easily (they have a limited refund policy on Airbnb).

What I find strange is that this place has a few dozen good reviews and nobody mentioned it. Perhaps nobody wanted to complain because it's cheap. But cheap doesn't mean hiding stuff like that. It also has numerous issues with cleanliness and that's inexcusable regardless of the price.

The host (or rather the son of the host, it seems the old lady doesn't even know what Airbnb is yet she's listed on Airbnb as the owner) declined my request to shorten my stay without any explanation or response to my politely stated concerns. I've already informed Airbnb and will fight this f*cker as I'm not going to let this bullshit slide. He was already a bit aggressive when I told him that the Internet speeds are nowhere near what he had promised before (so yet another lie).

2. The previous shitty place we encountered (this one was without reviews but the host has many good reviews of another listing) was listed as a quiet rural escape. In reality, not only was it a few meters in front of a busy highway connecting two major towns. It was also the craziest home set-up I've ever seen.

The bedroom was in one small building behind its own door with its own key. The bathroom was in another building with another door and another key. The kitchen was in yet another building with yet another door and key. So if you wanted to go the bathroom at night, you had to go outside. If you wanted to move between the buildings, the drivers of the cars from the highways could see you all the time so it felt a little like living under a bridge.

At least the owner was fine with us canceling right away and I got a full refund so I chose not to review their place at all.

3. Previously we booked a much more expensive house in Madeira. We wanted this for a relaxing 7-day vacation so we decided to get a really nice, private place with a big garden. Turns out the host took pictures in such a way so as not to show that the nice big garden is actually shared with two other houses which are meters apart from the offered house. Thankfully the other two houses were empty when we were there (they were vacation houses) but it was still yet another idiotic tactic to hide the true state of the listing hoping people wouldn't mind when they get there.

4. Speaking of the Canary Islands because so far it seems like the worst place I've ever been to in regards to honesty, as I was looking for a place to stay, I read countless reviews of different places. Other disgruntled travelers mentioned hidden things like:
  • so much mold they left right away (previously the listing had good reviews so a similar situation to ours) - what's strange is that there was no response whatsoever from the host,
  • overpowering smell of humidity (here it also smells),
  • Internet that didn't really work even though it was listed as being offered,
  • a water heater so small that hot water doesn't even last for two showers while it's being rented for 4 people.
 

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1. How about a small industrial cow farm right across the street? It smells like shit all day long so you can't spend time in the garden and even the car quickly starts smelling like shit if you enter the property with your windows rolled down. I'm not even mentioning the fact I'm vegan and how ironic it is that I'm forced to see, smell, and hear this.

The animals, including chickens, make loud noises starting early morning which is killing my girlfriend who's not an early riser.

The host also took pictures in such a way to hide that their house is right in front of the small house they're renting. So the listing indicates it's private but it's not because the moment you step out they can see you (or even look into the house if they're passing by).

When I told this to my Spanish teacher (who is from the Canary Islands where we currently are) she said it was "logical" to hide it because otherwise they wouldn't be able to rent it. The mentality here seems to be "let's see who we can scam while getting away with it." Because of course nobody will complain once they're here since you can't get your money back easily (they have a limited refund policy on Airbnb).

What I find strange is that this place has a few dozen good reviews and nobody mentioned it. Perhaps nobody wanted to complain because it's cheap. But cheap doesn't mean hiding stuff like that. It also has numerous issues with cleanliness and that's inexcusable regardless of the price.

The host (or rather the son of the host, it seems the old lady doesn't even know what Airbnb is yet she's listed on Airbnb as the owner) declined my request to shorten my stay without any explanation or response to my politely stated concerns. I've already informed Airbnb and will fight this f*cker as I'm not going to let this bullshit slide. He was already a bit aggressive when I told him that the Internet speeds are nowhere near what he had promised before (so yet another lie).

2. The previous shitty place we encountered (this one was without reviews but the host has many good reviews of another listing) was listed as a quiet rural escape. In reality, not only was it a few meters in front of a busy highway connecting two major towns. It was also the craziest home set-up I've ever seen.

The bedroom was in one small building behind its own door with its own key. The bathroom was in another building with another door and another key. The kitchen was in yet another building with yet another door and key. So if you wanted to go the bathroom at night, you had to go outside. If you wanted to move between the buildings, the drivers of the cars from the highways could see you all the time so it felt a little like living under a bridge.

At least the owner was fine with us canceling right away and I got a full refund so I chose not to review their place at all.

3. Previously we booked a much more expensive house in Madeira. We wanted this for a relaxing 7-day vacation so we decided to get a really nice, private place with a big garden. Turns out the host took pictures in such a way so as not to show that the nice big garden is actually shared with two other houses which are meters apart from the offered house. Thankfully the other two houses were empty when we were there (they were vacation houses) but it was still yet another idiotic tactic to hide the true state of the listing hoping people wouldn't mind when they get there.

4. Speaking of the Canary Islands because so far it seems like the worst place I've ever been to in regards to honesty, as I was looking for a place to stay, I read countless reviews of different places. Other disgruntled travelers mentioned hidden things like:
  • so much mold they left right away (previously the listing had good reviews so a similar situation to ours) - what's strange is that there was no response whatsoever from the host,
  • overpowering smell of humidity (here it also smells),
  • Internet that didn't really work even though it was listed as being offered,
  • a water heater so small that hot water doesn't even last for two showers while it's being rented for 4 people.

I know you don't like hotels but I think they are often a way better deal than Airbnb these days.

You won't be dealing with half or hardly any of these types of issues.
 

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You won't be dealing with half or hardly any of these types of issues.

I stayed at a hotel in the Canary Islands once, and it was pretty gross compared to how they represented themselves online (as a resort). Their pictures were quite misleading. This was around 12 years ago, though. Who knows what it's like now.
 

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1. How about a small industrial cow farm right across the street? It smells like shit all day long so you can't spend time in the garden and even the car quickly starts smelling like shit if you enter the property with your windows rolled down. I'm not even mentioning the fact I'm vegan and how ironic it is that I'm forced to see, smell, and hear this.

The animals, including chickens, make loud noises starting early morning which is killing my girlfriend who's not an early riser.

The host also took pictures in such a way to hide that their house is right in front of the small house they're renting. So the listing indicates it's private but it's not because the moment you step out they can see you (or even look into the house if they're passing by).

When I told this to my Spanish teacher (who is from the Canary Islands where we currently are) she said it was "logical" to hide it because otherwise they wouldn't be able to rent it. The mentality here seems to be "let's see who we can scam while getting away with it." Because of course nobody will complain once they're here since you can't get your money back easily (they have a limited refund policy on Airbnb).

What I find strange is that this place has a few dozen good reviews and nobody mentioned it. Perhaps nobody wanted to complain because it's cheap. But cheap doesn't mean hiding stuff like that. It also has numerous issues with cleanliness and that's inexcusable regardless of the price.

The host (or rather the son of the host, it seems the old lady doesn't even know what Airbnb is yet she's listed on Airbnb as the owner) declined my request to shorten my stay without any explanation or response to my politely stated concerns. I've already informed Airbnb and will fight this f*cker as I'm not going to let this bullshit slide. He was already a bit aggressive when I told him that the Internet speeds are nowhere near what he had promised before (so yet another lie).

2. The previous shitty place we encountered (this one was without reviews but the host has many good reviews of another listing) was listed as a quiet rural escape. In reality, not only was it a few meters in front of a busy highway connecting two major towns. It was also the craziest home set-up I've ever seen.

The bedroom was in one small building behind its own door with its own key. The bathroom was in another building with another door and another key. The kitchen was in yet another building with yet another door and key. So if you wanted to go the bathroom at night, you had to go outside. If you wanted to move between the buildings, the drivers of the cars from the highways could see you all the time so it felt a little like living under a bridge.

At least the owner was fine with us canceling right away and I got a full refund so I chose not to review their place at all.

3. Previously we booked a much more expensive house in Madeira. We wanted this for a relaxing 7-day vacation so we decided to get a really nice, private place with a big garden. Turns out the host took pictures in such a way so as not to show that the nice big garden is actually shared with two other houses which are meters apart from the offered house. Thankfully the other two houses were empty when we were there (they were vacation houses) but it was still yet another idiotic tactic to hide the true state of the listing hoping people wouldn't mind when they get there.

4. Speaking of the Canary Islands because so far it seems like the worst place I've ever been to in regards to honesty, as I was looking for a place to stay, I read countless reviews of different places. Other disgruntled travelers mentioned hidden things like:
  • so much mold they left right away (previously the listing had good reviews so a similar situation to ours) - what's strange is that there was no response whatsoever from the host,
  • overpowering smell of humidity (here it also smells),
  • Internet that didn't really work even though it was listed as being offered,
  • a water heater so small that hot water doesn't even last for two showers while it's being rented for 4 people.

Wow. How sad.

I stayed at an AirBNB once (in Sedona) and will never do it again.

The place was a nice place, but the owner was having nightly midnight seances or something, beating drums, and various other rituals. It was a bit unnerving and creepy, not to mention, impossible to sleep.

Sadly, I'd rather trust a bigger corporation with systems in place than private individuals.

I'd rather pay a nice premium for a nice hotel with systems/staff in place.

That said, this is a great opportunity for private owner with a business mindset to really set themselves apart in the space, and generate a nice income on rentals, someone with a business/customer service mindset like @biophase.
 

MTF

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I know you don't like hotels but I think they are often a way better deal than Airbnb these days.

You won't be dealing with half or hardly any of these types of issues.

Hotels suck. They don't offer privacy (I really like being alone and having a backyard to myself), they're always full of people, they're usually in touristy areas, you have to walk through the hallways to get out, there's no experience of actually living in a given place, the regular hotels don't have a kitchen (and I like cooking myself), and many more things I hate. I absolutely hate your standard hotel interior design, and in general dislike everything about the hotels.

So yeah, no thanks :)

As for that situation, Airbnb resolved the matter in my favor and refunded me for the remaining days.

I stayed at a hotel in the Canary Islands once, and it was pretty gross compared to how they represented themselves online (as a resort). Their pictures were quite misleading. This was around 12 years ago, though. Who knows what it's like now.

Lol nothing has changed. I think it's a cultural thing here to scam people and even more so, scam foreigners. There's very little interest in doing your best and improving your offer. It also seems like many people here can't think long-term. That host not only lost money with us and left a terrible impression of them and the island, they'll also get a negative review from me which will further hurt their business. I wanted to resolve this amicably but they wanted to keep the money they didn't deserve. So now they'll get even less money.

I'm pretty sure your hotel experience is pretty standard these days, too.
 

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BTW, I moved this to its own thread, seems like a great topic.
 

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Hotels suck.

Well based on the shithole you just described, I'm thinking a hotel (or a motel) would have been a better option. A hotel/motel simply could not survive in the conditions you described. That only can exist (and survive) on AirBNB.

I'll take a long walk in a hallway with good air over an industrial ammonia farm.
 

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A group of my friends and I had a similar AirBNB experience in the summer of 2020. We booked a trip to float a popular river, and got a very nice little AirBNB with sleeping arrangments for 6 people.

When we got there, we realized the house sat in the shadow of a giant grain silo right across the street.

There were huge dump trucks driving up and down at all hours of the day and night. The parking situation was almost impossible but luckily it was 2020 so we parked in places we weren't supposed to and nobody cared because nobody else was around.

(Side note, the river was completely blocked by fences put up by the local government, except at privately owned entrances. So, we parked one vehicle at a tube rental/bar place to get in, and parked another vehicle at the same type of place to get out, and it worked like a charm)

Crazy experience. You never know what you're going to get when you book an AirBNB.
 
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I've never been a huge AirBNB person, but that's usually the case when your biggest criteria is price.

I've found if you're always a slave to the cheapest price, then the seller can always get away with giving away an inferior product or experience.
 

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Wow. How sad.

I stayed at an AirBNB once (in Sedona) and will never do it again.

The place was a nice place, but the owner was having nightly midnight seances or something, beating drums, and various other rituals. It was a bit unnerving and creepy, not to mention, impossible to sleep.

Sadly, I'd rather trust a bigger corporation with systems in place than private individuals.

I'd rather pay a nice premium for a nice hotel with systems/staff in place.

That said, this is a great opportunity for private owner with a business mindset to really set themselves apart in the space, and generate a nice income on rentals, someone with a business/customer service mindset like @biophase.

I've stayed in roughly 40 Airbnbs all over the world, in countries of various development and in places with various prices and various accomodation types (but mostly private countryside houses).

The vast majority of them were great, with some being so exceptional I could have easily lived there permanently. I've also formed friendships with some hosts and learned a great deal from them. When everything goes well, not even the greatest hotel can beat the experience.

Staying at great Airbnbs is one of the best things about traveling for me. You get to live like a local (important for me since I travel to find a second residence) and experience things you can't get at a hotel (of course, sometimes this goes both ways lol).

For example, in our long-term stay last year in southern Spain our host gave us a tour of his workplace (he worked in a local farmers' cooperative) and his backyard, regularly gave us his own fresh fruits and vegetables, and was a super fun guy overall. He lived in a neighbouring house but ours had full privacy. We still chat via WhatsApp every now and then.

In southern Portugal we chatted with a Dutch woman who shared her story looking for a new house all over the world to finally buy farmland in Algarve. She kept friendly pet pigs and her dog frequently visited us to play with him.

In Liechtenstein we had an awesome cabin in the mountains with no tourists anywhere nearby.

You can't get any of this stuff in a hotel.

BTW, I moved this to its own thread, seems like a great topic.

Thanks, that's a great idea.

Well based on the shithole you just described, I'm thinking a hotel (or a motel) would have been a better option. A hotel/motel simply could not survive in the conditions you described. That only can exist (and survive) on AirBNB.

I'll take a long walk in a hallway with good air over an industrial ammonia farm.

Like I said, usually my filtering process works very well. It doesn't seem to work that properly in the Canary Islands, though. Throughout the years, I've only had a few bad experiences on Airbnb and three of them happened here. It's unlikely to be a coincidence. Like I mentioned in my previous post, the culture here is peculiar. Reminds me of Poland in the 90s when everyone scammed each other and it was socially acceptable (today, it's not).
 

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I've never been a huge AirBNB person, but that's usually the case when your biggest criteria is price.

I've found if you're always a slave to the cheapest price, then the seller can always get away with giving away an inferior product or experience.

Most of my bad experiences did happen at lower priced places. I usually avoid the cheapest places but sometimes make exceptions when they have great reviews (this time it didn't work out).

But now we rented for one night another budget place and it's pretty good. Tomorrow we're moving to yet another place that's pretty awesome (we arranged an in-person visit prior to booking to avoid any surprises) even though it's also rather cheap.

But yes, overall if you're new to Airbnb better not book cheap places.
 

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1. How about a small industrial cow farm right across the street? It smells like shit all day long so you can't spend time in the garden and even the car quickly starts smelling like shit if you enter the property with your windows rolled down. I'm not even mentioning the fact I'm vegan and how ironic it is that I'm forced to see, smell, and hear this.

The animals, including chickens, make loud noises starting early morning which is killing my girlfriend who's not an early riser.

The host also took pictures in such a way to hide that their house is right in front of the small house they're renting. So the listing indicates it's private but it's not because the moment you step out they can see you (or even look into the house if they're passing by).

When I told this to my Spanish teacher (who is from the Canary Islands where we currently are) she said it was "logical" to hide it because otherwise they wouldn't be able to rent it. The mentality here seems to be "let's see who we can scam while getting away with it." Because of course nobody will complain once they're here since you can't get your money back easily (they have a limited refund policy on Airbnb).

What I find strange is that this place has a few dozen good reviews and nobody mentioned it. Perhaps nobody wanted to complain because it's cheap. But cheap doesn't mean hiding stuff like that. It also has numerous issues with cleanliness and that's inexcusable regardless of the price.

The host (or rather the son of the host, it seems the old lady doesn't even know what Airbnb is yet she's listed on Airbnb as the owner) declined my request to shorten my stay without any explanation or response to my politely stated concerns. I've already informed Airbnb and will fight this f*cker as I'm not going to let this bullshit slide. He was already a bit aggressive when I told him that the Internet speeds are nowhere near what he had promised before (so yet another lie).

2. The previous shitty place we encountered (this one was without reviews but the host has many good reviews of another listing) was listed as a quiet rural escape. In reality, not only was it a few meters in front of a busy highway connecting two major towns. It was also the craziest home set-up I've ever seen.

The bedroom was in one small building behind its own door with its own key. The bathroom was in another building with another door and another key. The kitchen was in yet another building with yet another door and key. So if you wanted to go the bathroom at night, you had to go outside. If you wanted to move between the buildings, the drivers of the cars from the highways could see you all the time so it felt a little like living under a bridge.

At least the owner was fine with us canceling right away and I got a full refund so I chose not to review their place at all.

3. Previously we booked a much more expensive house in Madeira. We wanted this for a relaxing 7-day vacation so we decided to get a really nice, private place with a big garden. Turns out the host took pictures in such a way so as not to show that the nice big garden is actually shared with two other houses which are meters apart from the offered house. Thankfully the other two houses were empty when we were there (they were vacation houses) but it was still yet another idiotic tactic to hide the true state of the listing hoping people wouldn't mind when they get there.

4. Speaking of the Canary Islands because so far it seems like the worst place I've ever been to in regards to honesty, as I was looking for a place to stay, I read countless reviews of different places. Other disgruntled travelers mentioned hidden things like:
  • so much mold they left right away (previously the listing had good reviews so a similar situation to ours) - what's strange is that there was no response whatsoever from the host,
  • overpowering smell of humidity (here it also smells),
  • Internet that didn't really work even though it was listed as being offered,
  • a water heater so small that hot water doesn't even last for two showers while it's being rented for 4 people.
Airbnb's And OYO Rooms can't be directly compared but I know your pain.

Now I only book hotels
 

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You can't get any of this stuff in a hotel.

Forgot to add our last experience on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands from a host originally from Belgium (the rule here is that if you rent from a foreigner, it's usually much better than from a local).

The guy was very into the environment. His house and the rental house were built with eco-friendly materials (wood, limestone and cork). He provided the guests with various reusable items. Electricity was supplied by solar panels. The wastewater was filtered and used for gardening. Super interesting stuff and a very chill guy. He even offered me a discount for his surf school.
 

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I don't want anyone here to think that Airbnb sucks because I'm a huge, huge fan of the company so just to provide some examples, here are some incredible experiences you can only get through Airbnb:

1.jpg

A small budget house in rural Greece with a million-dollar view.

2.jpg

A small traditional house in Slovenia. The host took us to his friend in the village who made her own wine. We had to run away from her aggressive geese lol.

3.jpg

Our incredible house in Barbados for five months. One of the best views ever. The host frequently gave us fruits and vegetables from his own garden. We still keep in touch.

4.jpg

Our budget yet luxurious stay in southern France. A million-dollar view private terrace.

5.jpg

Our cabin in Liechtenstein. I dislike winter but this place was magical.

6.jpg

Our backyard in a traditional renovated house in Lanzarote.
 
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I feel like it may be a matter of market maturity. I own several apartments that I rent out in my town (it's my first and main business), and there's quite a lot of them here actually. Competition pushes up the value you get for the price you pay.

In September I traveled for 3 weeks in Corsica, which is an island with tiny villages here and there ( probably similar to the Canary Islands). There were MUCH LESS rentals to choose from than in a regular city, and I found it was a bit expensive given the quality. There is also the tourist destination factor: high prices and high demand in summer (tourists are not my market, few come to my town).
This was the first time I stayed in short term rentals, I used to be a hotel guy, but I switched this year to avoid the covid bullshit (don't really want to bring the topic again, but I have to cheat to go to a restaurant, so I needed my own kitchen). I actually liked not having to find a restaurant twice a day every single day, plus having a whole place to myself. Despite the aforementioned issues, I'm not going back.

That being said, I think this is also still a very amateur market. Some people just happen to own a place and they list it as it is, thinking they'll make a quick buck and that's all. The effect is even worse in touristy places cause prices can skyrocket in high season. I remember I saw a listing where the guy took a picture of his place with dishes drying on the rack lol.

Managing expectations is very important. There is a balance to be found between showcasing your rental and being honest about what it is. I'm a bit surprised though when you say, @MTF , that owners seem to be able to get away with hiding gross stuff or outright lying about their place, as they still get fairly good reviews. I would think someone commenting in the review that I "forgot" to mention there is a pig farm across the street in front of one of my places would kill the listing instantly...

Anyway, given these issues it sounds to me like there's plenty of opportunities and market shares to be taken !
 

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@MTF I feel your pain, but what I don't get is how your entering the business as a host would make any significant difference. Maybe I'm missing something.

You can invest in a few houses and apartments here and there, but in the grand scheme of things (AKA shitty airbnb experiences), what would that offer the millions of airbnb users? If you're lucky, you'll have a few hundred guests over a period of years. In this context, I don't think the drive to "change things" will make enough of a dent in the airbnb ecosystem to be worth your time and resources.
 

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You have to do your own research when booking these homes. Most of them will give you the address after you book and you should google maps them right away to see what your neighborhood is like.

We booked a home in Aspen that had a peak nightly rate of $10,000 a night that was supposedly valued at $8M. The home looked great in photos. BTW, we didn't pay anywhere close to $10k, we booked last minute because they offered a huge discount.

So from this google 3d image below, you can see that if they took the photo just right from the right side, it would look like the home was at the top of a mountain/hill. That's how they framed the main money shot of the house.

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Here is the top down view of the home.

You have to drive through an alley to get to the home.

See the tiny garage? It couldn't fit my SUV! We had 3 cars and couldn't park them without blocking in someone else. This is a house that is supposed to sleep 15 people!

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Xavier X

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To the point of staying in airbnbs vs hotels. For my kind of travel, they're not even comparable. The most luxurious, most expensive hotel in the world is inferior to a good airbnb, for me. I have lived exclusively in airbnbs for the last 4.5 years, and I don't know exactly how many I've stayed in, but it's pushing 100 airbnb apartments and houses around the world.

For people on a quick vacation, who like the idea of 5-star hotel room service, resort amenities and whatnot, a hotel might be for you. I'm just not one of them. I only stay in hotels for a few days max, and only if I have to. I like to feel at home, with a lot of space. A hotel can't offer me that.

I have never stayed in or considered staying in a shared airbnb apartment or house either. I filter by "entire place" and find good value. I always find something good and spacious, at a good rate. Luckily, I've only had about 4 aggravating experiences that I can recall. It was only bad enough in one case, where I had to move. Cases:

1. Rented an apartment in Lima, Peru. Got there, and there was an electrical issue. The host (who was in the US) couldn't get a hold of his electrician. So I stayed in the apartment that night without power (for free) and moved the next day.

2. Rented an apartment in the heart of SoHo, in Hong Kong. The pics were flattering, but it turned out quite crappy. The highlight being a bathroom that was literally about 3x4 feet. I regret not taking a pic, as it was hilarious. Obviously, the bathroom pic was conveniently left out of the airbnb listing. Only booked it for 5 days, so I moved.

3. An apartment I stayed for several months in Cartagena, Colombia. For the last 2 months, there was daily construction in the apartment above. Concrete drilling and hammering all day long, 6 days a week. I honestly don't know how I kept staying. Then there were power outages, internet outages and gas outages. All happening in the last 2 months. This was in Bocagrande, which is the nicest part of the city. I didn't give the host shit, because he was a good guy and most of those things were out of his control.

4. Booked a 1 BR apartment in Mexico City for 1 day, literally because I needed to do a lot of laundry, and the place had a nice washer/dryer unit :playful: . Anyway, walked in there, and there was a damn camera in the living room, which wasn't mentioned in the listing. Turns out the place was a 2 BR, though the second bedroom was locked. My guess is it was typically rented out per room, not the whole apartment. So the living room would've been considered "common area." I simply covered the camera with a paper towel and didn't bother asking the host what that was about. Especially since it was just one day.

mex-cam.JPG


That said, in general, it's also important to know what kind of neighborhood the property or hotel you're considering is in. The site in my signature (which I own) can help in your research of the different neighborhoods. Based on what other travelers think of it. It makes it easier to select a place by understanding the map view of that city. I created that site, because for me, that was the most annoying part of traveling. Having to research neighborhoods on forums and blogs and whatever, then trying to make sense of it on a booking map.
 
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MTF

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In September I traveled for 3 weeks in Corsica, which is an island with tiny villages here and there ( probably similar to the Canary Islands).

I haven't been to Corsica but I think it's way different. The main Canary Islands are all heavily touristy with extremely touristy regions and those more local (but these are usually in the mountains where it's cold).

I'm a bit surprised though when you say, @MTF , that owners seem to be able to get away with hiding gross stuff or outright lying about their place, as they still get fairly good reviews. I would think someone commenting in the review that I "forgot" to mention there is a pig farm across the street in front of one of my places would kill the listing instantly...

I was surprised as well considering a few dozen reviews. I'd suspect people didn't want to complain because of the low price.

@MTF I feel your pain, but what I don't get is how your entering the business as a host would make any significant difference. Maybe I'm missing something.

You can invest in a few houses and apartments here and there, but in the grand scheme of things (AKA shitty airbnb experiences), what would that offer the millions of airbnb users? If you're lucky, you'll have a few hundred guests over a period of years. In this context, I don't think the drive to "change things" will make enough of a dent in the airbnb ecosystem to be worth your time and resources.

You're right. I guess I was thinking more on a local level. I think it would be fun to have a really nice place you're proud of and rent it in a cool destination, be fair to your guests and in general offer a memorable experience. My home base isn't in a cool destination by any means so I can't do that unless I find that cool new destination for me.

You have to do your own research when booking these homes. Most of them will give you the address after you book and you should google maps them right away to see what your neighborhood is like.

If the host allows flexible cancellation then yes. If it's limited or strict, you'll lose your money unless you somehow convince Airbnb before checking in that the place isn't as described based on the satellite view alone.

To the point of staying in airbnbs vs hotels. For my kind of travel, they're not even comparable. The most luxurious, most expensive hotel in the world is inferior to a good airbnb, for me.

100%. That's what I wanted to communicate in my response to the suggestion of staying in hotels.
 

Zaratustra

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Recently I've been using Matterport for 3D real-estate tours, it gives excellent feeling of the house. You can just embed on the website and Voila!
Additionally using freelance photographers with 360 Gopro cameras can ensure to have listings in all major cities.
There are couple of really good directory listing wordpress themes to get the project started without much software costs upfront.
 

Johnny boy

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I love Airbnb it’s the only way I travel. I’m in a 2 bedroom 2.5 bathroom condo with a garage and it’s own rooftop down in cabo. It’s like $45 a night!
E8701A44-EFF1-4315-9144-AD1F720971AF.png

I think I like using Airbnb and have very few complaints because I just naturally appreciate things more. I don’t even mean that as a brag, I’ll go to dinner and think it’s good when other people don’t like it, I’ll watch a movie and think it was good when other people don’t like it. Maybe it’s just low standards I guess. When I can vacation for months on end spending $2000 a day then I’m sure I’ll splurge for convenience but right now I enjoy freedom and being able to stay for a long time wherever I want over being pampered for a couple days.

I’ve stayed in places where I was destroyed by mosquitos in Thailand, I saw a cockroach a few days ago in another place, to find this place we’re in now we got lost and drove miles down a sketchy dirt road in a scooter. I could go on and on. There was construction at our last place and a centipede came up through the drain in the bathroom sink, lol. 5 stars for all of them because I don’t expect to be at the four seasons for $40 a night. I’ve stayed at the ritz at Lake Tahoe that goes for $1500 a night this summer. I’d rather see something unique and spend next to nothing.

I’m having a great time. Im spending like $120 a day that I’m here on everything. We’re just about to ride our scooter down to the beach and snorkel with the fish and then drink $4 margaritas all afternoon.

Lighten up or go get a hotel room I guess
 

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@Itizn lol this guy clearly has very little experience with Airbnb or is a terrible guest.

You almost never have to ask to reserve - it's usually just one click and no approval needed as most listings are available for instant booking.

Check-in is most of the time flexible. Many times there's even simple self check-in so no dealing with anyone (same with check-out). I almost never had any problems with check-in and most certainly I didn't have to adapt to the host's schedule to get in.

Hosts rarely leave reviews and if they do, it's usually just "great guest." You care for the place in the same way as you would care for everything else you rented. If the guy thinks that if you rent something it means you're free not to take care of it then I guess I can understand why he doesn't use Airbnb.
 

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